Branding is something that affects the purchases we make and the businesses we hire, whether we are aware of it or not. The brand is how businesses communicate their values, vision and personality to us the consumers.
Branding is an extremely powerful marketing tool. Your brand represents your business to customers and conveys your brand message and what your business is all about.
As a consumer, we are bombarded with choice everywhere we go. From food to clothes, electrical products, cosmetics, we are targeted by businesses wanting us to buy their particular product or service over a competitor.
What is the real Power of Branding?
For companies, branding sets you apart from other businesses in your industry and can be used to create an identity and a personality that consumers can engage and connect with. How customers view your brand ultimately translates into customer loyalty and sales.
If we think of some of the most well-known global brands, sometimes the brand becomes just as valuable or even more so, than the products they create. For example Apple, they have created an extremely powerful brand and identity. There is hype and anticipation around every single Apple product launched. The power of branding is immense.
So how do you create a brand that people are drawn to and want to buy things from? A logo and brand identity should be high on the list.
A logo is how we recognise a brand, and a well-designed logo can communicate certain associations and characteristics to a potential customer. A logo embodies the brand. Clever and successful branding is when a logo is instantly recognisable. The majority of us know what the golden yellow ‘M’ against a red background represents.
Brand logos usually appear on all marketing material which helps to build a strong brand identity and raise brand awareness, from flyer printing to business cards to online display ads and TV ads. Deciding on a logo can be tricky, but often the most effective ones are the simplest. If we think of Nike or Apple both their logos are simple, unfussy and even muted in colour. Other logos are just stylised versions of the brand name; Google, Disney, Nokia, Microsoft, IBM, FedEx the list goes on.
A well-established branding technique is to tell a ‘story’ through the packaging, stationery and marketing materials. A good example of this is Pret-A-Manger, their business ethos is one of fresh ingredients and produce made in store every day. To tell this ‘story’ they do not feature any sell-by dates on their food.
Branding is basically an attempt to influence and control our associations, and perceptions of a business. However, no-one can ever have complete control over their branding and there will always be negative brand associations. But with carefully thought out logo, design, and an advertising and marketing strategy, businesses can suggest the associations that they want us to have.